The Accra Metropolitan Archbishop of the Catholic Church has said the church is on high alert to avert a potential attack by extremists.
Most Reverend John Bonaventure Kwofie revealed Thursday that the Accra Archdiocese has already engaged the Inspector-General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu and the police administration to put together a robust strategy to protect worshippers on Sundays.
“Security has become a big issue today with what happened in Sri Lanka and what’s happening in Burkina Faso. Since it’s coming closer to us, we are now standing alert to face this security threat that is coming up,” he said.
The Metropolitan Archbishop gave the assurance at his office at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra when a Catholic Association of Media Practitioners, Ghana (CAMP-G) called on him on Thursday, May 23, 2019.
“It is time that we stay awake; it is time that we rise to see what we can do to protect innocent people who come to church. They have come to church to worship and it will be sad that it is inside the church that they are going to meet their death,” he said.
The assurance by the Metropolitan Archbishop comes in the wake of the threat of terrorism that has gripped the country.
Ghana is tightening security at its border as a Salafi-Jihadist group based in Burkina Faso strike in that country.
The militants on February 15, 2019, killed four Burkinabe customs officers at a checkpoint at Nohao near the Ghana border and burnt three vehicles. They also killed a Spanish priest.
The security situation in Burkina Faso, Ghana’s neighbour to the north, remains fluid as thousands of Burkinabes throng Ghanaian villages over unrests.
The Africa Center for Security and Intelligence Studies (ACSIS) has also issued a security alert that the Salafi-Jihadist group has been moving in and out of Ghana through the border with Burkina Faso over the past months.
Most Reverend John Bonaventure Kwofie said Thursday during the visit by CAMP-G that Ushers at churches across the country must play a key role in the effort to forestall attacks by extremists by raising alarm about suspicious characters.
”In our parishes, Ushers must stand up; they must rise because people come [to church] and we do not know what they are carrying into the church…These are what ushers are called to do,” he stressed.
Already, Christ the King Church, one of the parishes in the Accra Archdiocese has banned backpacks as part of new directives to beef up security at the church.
The new security measures are also part of a national campaign to scale up internal security at churches in the wake of terror threats.